Four new community batteries will store renewable energy – generated from rooftop solar – for use by hundreds of residents living in Alphington, Bellfield, Coburg and Flemington in Victoria.
Jemena Electricity Networks has been awarded up to $2 million in funding to deliver the community batteries through the Australian Government’s Community Batteries for Household Solar Program.
The community batteries will store excess power generated from rooftop solar during the day and will make it available to the wider community during peak times at night. This means that all customers connected to the local network will have access to the renewable energy, not just those with rooftop solar. The batteries will also help stabilise the electricity grid by soaking up excess solar during the day and reducing demand on the grid during peak times late in the day.
“Our customers have told us they want access to clean, renewable energy. By installing these community batteries within the Jemena Electricity Network we are making renewable energy a reality for many of our customers who don’t have rooftop solar, such as those who are renting,” Executive General Manager, Jemena Networks, Shaun Reardon said.
“We will now work with local councils and residents to confirm the specific locations of each battery and we will engage with residents throughout the project. This will include written progress updates and in-person events where residents will have the option to ask questions and provide feedback.”
Each battery will have around 360kWh of storage which is the same amount of energy used by around 150 homes for two hours at night.
Mr Reardon said that the installation of the community batteries will build on Jemena’s work to allow more people to export solar energy back into the grid across its electricity network.
“The amount of solar energy that can be exported back into the grid within the Jemena Electricity Network has grown by 30 percent from levels seen in 2020. This was achieved through an optimisation program aimed at ensuring the network is equipped to host additional solar energy with no impact to the power supply customers rely on each day.
“We will continue to invest in new technologies, such as community batteries, to maintain grid stability as solar uptake increases over the coming years.
“This is part of our work to build the energy system of the future; one which supports our customers on their decarbonisation journey, gives our customers choice and control over how they use and access the grid, and delivers energy reliably and safely.”
Work to install the batteries will commence in 2024. Mr Reardon said Jemena expects the batteries to be operational by mid-2024.